Cards take on league leaders
6:57am, Thu 20th Nov 2014
Woking v Barnet
3pm on Saturday 22 November 2014
“Turn out in your numbers: it’s going to be a great game”. That was Garry Hill’s message to everyone about this Saturday’s match after Woking’s superb televised win at Halifax last Sunday. The Cards, in third place and with two games in hand, take on league leaders, Barnet, eight points clear of the Cards’ next opponents, second-placed Grimsby Town, so all’s set for what should be Kingfield’s biggest gate of the season so far. There have been some terrific games between the two clubs over the years and both of the present sides like to play attractive, attacking football. Don’t miss this one! Remember, though, that a road closure near the ground may lead to delays if you’re travelling by car: see the news item of 12 November for more details.
As Garry said, a week is a long time in football (as well as in politics). It’s hard to believe that a side that performed so poorly in the FA Cup at Wrexham could produce such a commanding performance a week later at the Shay. But the signs of recovery were there in the hard-fought midweek draw at home to Wrexham in the league, and on Sunday the Cards produced one of their finest displays of the season to make a mockery of the Shaymen’s redoubtable home form. It was all the more remarkable since the Cards were missing a clutch of players, including Jack Marriott, Joey Jones, Dean Morgan, Keiran Murtagh and, of course, Mark Ricketts.
The result and performance were testament to the astute way Garry and Steve have juggled their small squad, switching players into different positions and producing first-rate results. Adam Newton, not for the first time, showed his pedigree on the right-hand side of midfield, capping his display with two finishes which any striker would have been proud of; his right-back position has been ably taken for the time being at least by James Clarke, whom we’d expected, pre-season, to be partnering Joe McNerney at centre-back, opening the way for Mike Cestor, switching from the left-back slot, now filled by the rampaging Chris Arthur, to produce some excellent performances in that position. And then, in midfield, we’ve seen Theo Lewis, moving inside from the right flank, to work his socks off in midfield, harrying and closing down.
And, of course, we must mention Gez Sole, who always seems to produce the goods this season, whether he starts or comes on as a substitute. His all-round game appears to have developed, playing alongside the ever-reliable Scott Rendell, and, of course, those trademark free-kicks are simply astonishing!
Let’s hope that, whatever team Garry selects on Saturday, they play with the commitment, intelligence and skill shown at the Shay.
Martin Allen’s side have a superb away record in the league this season, having won seven, drawn two and lost only one (at Macclesfield) on their travels, scoring 22 goals and conceding only seven. Their first four away trips saw them score 12 goals without reply before drawing 2-2 at AFC Telford, with their other draw coming at Braintree Town. It may or may not be relevant to note that only three of their away games have been against sides presently in the top half of the table: Macclesfield, where they lost, and Forest Green and Gateshead, where they won both games.
John Akinde is the Bees’ top scorer with 14 league goals, one more than the Cards’ Scott Rendell. Other well-known players in a very strong squad include striker Charlie MacDonald, who joined from Oldham in the summer; former Portsmouth defender Bondz N’Gala; highly experienced keeper/coach Graham Stack; ex-Shot Adam Mekki; wingers Luisma Villa and Lee Cook, the latter once commanding a £2.5m transfer fee; versatile midfielder Mauro Vilhete; striker Jon Nurse, who had a loan spell with Woking in 2006; and defender Curtis Weston. They have recently added the highly-promising young striker Bernard Mensah, on loan from Watford, who had a spell with Braintree last season. Sam Togwell and Andy Yiadom will both miss the game through suspensions as a result of red cards in Barnet’s FA Cup defeat by Wycombe Wanderers.
Over 65s and Students with a valid NUS card: £10
The match will be segregated. Barnet fans will be allocated the open Chris Lane Terrace and part of the seating in the main Leslie Gosden Stand.
This Saturday’s programme should appeal to Woking and Barnet fans alike and is likely to be in great demand, so be quick to get your copy. There is a feature on some of the great clashes between the Cardinals and the Bees, plus an interview with keeper Jake Cole, an ex-Barnet player who has impressed hugely for the Cards in recent games. Other features include a tribute to Joe Reay, the young Academy player who died recently, and a welcome to Sponsor’s Lounge special guest and Woking legend, Kevan Brown. And, of course, there is a round-up of all the recent Vanarama Conference games and much more, including match reports, previews and news of the Club’s community work and commercial initiatives.
The Club’s classy new programme is still only £3 but now has 64 pages, with a soft laminate cover, high quality ‘finish’ and stunning photos. If you can’t get to the game, you can order a copy from the Club Shop on email@example.com
Woking 0 Barnet 0
8 October 2013
A solid and disciplined performance from Woking resulted in a 0-0 draw with Barnet after they were unluckily denied a late winner when three goal-bound headers from Joe McNerney were miraculously cleared off the line by the Barnet defence.
The Cards looked sharp and purposeful in the first half, making most of the running, with Barnet content to try to hit Woking on the counter-attack. Gavin Williams missed a good chance, scuffing his shot, whilst Barnet came closest through the flying Keanu Marsh-Brown. The second half turned into an exciting contest with chances and goalmouth incidents galore at both ends but neither side had quite the cutting edge required to turn the game in their favour. Nothing prepared fans, however, for the frantic finale in which the Bees’ goal led a charmed life.
In the away fixture, on 1 March 2014, the Cards produced a tremendous display, crushing their hosts 3-1.
Woking: Sam Beasant, Adam Newton, John Nutter, Jack Parkinson, Joe McNerney, Mark Ricketts, Josh Payne, John Goddard (Anthony McNamee 75), Gavin Williams, Kevin Betsy (Mike Cestor 87), Scott Rendell
Unused Subs: Aaron Howe, Giuseppe Sole, George Frith
Caution: Josh Payne (47)
Barnet: Graham Stack, Elliot Johnson, David Stephens, Jack Saville, Anthony Acheampong, Kieron Cadogan, Curtis Weston, Roberto Garcia Casabella, Keanu Marsh-Brown, Harry Crawford (Luisma Villa 83), Marciano Mengerink (Iffy Allen 69)
Unused Subs: Nick Jupp, Ahmed Abdulla, Edgar Davids
Caution: Keanu Marsh-Brown (86)
The Cards make the long trek to Grimsby Town on Tuesday evening for what is likely to be one of their toughest away encounters of the campaign. They are then at home next Saturday to Alan Devonshire’s Braintree Town.
Come on, you Cards!
P.S. Cards Trust members – please attend this evening’s AGM if you can. Starts at 7.30pm in the Cardinals Bar, with Geoff Chapple later recalling some of his great Woking memories.